Banners allow your users to create ads on your site using images. These images will then be placed into your banner rotator plugin which displays at the top and bottom of our pages. The rotator will swap images every few seconds or each time the users visit a new page, thus allowing many ads to be seen by each person who visits your site. The banner rotator does display on all pages of your site.
Suggestions for improvements to this plugin can be made here:
To manage your banner rotator, you will need to login to your Control Panel (this is the same Url as the User Login link on your homepage) using your administration username and password.
Click on the icon that is circled in this image (Banners).
Once you have clicked the icon, you will see a tabbed menu similar to the one below. CLick any of the tabbed text links to access each of the administration areas.
Managing General Settings
Do not enable this until you have a few banners setup.
seconds Setting this to zero will turn off timed rotation.Setting this to zero will turn off timed rotation. Setting this number too low may not allow enough time for ads to be seen by visitors and may cause issues while editing your pages. The minimum value (if not zero) is 15 seconds.
Action for pre-paid banners:
Allow users to edit banners:
Top banner monthly price:
Bottom banner monthly price:
Display banners: Disabling the banners display on your site will hide the banners from displaying, but will not completely remove the banners plugin from your site. The banners icon in the control panel will remain and all banners already created will continue to exists. Only un-installing the plguin completely will remove the banners icon from the control panel.
Timed Rotation: This will effect how the banners rotate from image to image. Setting this to 0 will cause a new banner image to be seen each time a new page is loaded. All ads recieve an equal rotation. Setting this number to anything other than zero will result in banners rotating on their own after the specified amount of time. Setting this number too low may not allow enough time for ads to be seen by visitors and more importantly **may cause issues while editing your pages**. Setting this option to anything other than '0' is not recommended by our staff.
Action for pre-paid banners: If you prefer to screen all banners for appropriateness prior to activation, you should set 'Action for pre-paid banners' to 'Hold for administrator approval'.
Allow users to edit banners: If you enable the 'Allow users to edit banners' feature, your users will be able to change the banner image and URL after you approve it. This may defeat the purpose of holding the banner for approval. But will save you the headache of updating a listing each time they notice a typo or need a small adjustment.
Our banner rotator software only supports payments in a monthly form. No other payment options are supported. If you wish to add other options outside what our software supports, it is up to you. We do not provide help for this.
Top banner monthly price: and Bottom banner monthly price: Note that 'Top Banner' and 'Bottom Banner' refer to the locations on the page (top of the page, and bottom of the page, respectively) at which the banners will appear. Bottom Banners are less prominent, and are generally less valuable than Top Banners.
These options would then be followed by any ad zones you may have created.
Click the Update Settings button after setting preferences.
Managing Existing Banner Ads
This is where you can view and manage all the banners currently being displayed in both your top and bottom banner rotators.
The Owner is the name of the business the ad is associated with. In this example the ads were uploaded by the Admin.
The Loc tells you in which area the banner displays (top of the page, and bottom of the page, respectively).
The Url is where a visitor is brought if the ad is clicked.
Impressions tells how many times the banner ad has been displayed. If your banner is created by flash, the Impressionswill not work and this number will remain zero.
Clicks is how many times a visitor has clicked the banner ad, and Expiry is when the banner will be deleted from your site. If your banner is created by flash, the Clickswill not work and this number will remain zero.
Clicking the Edit link allows you to access the Banner Details section to edit any current information, or enable/disable the ad. You can change the impressions number or the click-through number. You can swap the current image for a new one, or even extend their ad to display longer, if you wish. At the bottom of the Banner Details is a button to Update your changes.
Clicking the Delete link will delete the banner image from your site (this cannot be undone).
Managing the Banner Creator
This is the neatest thing! What if a business registers and they do not have a banner image to display with their business? Well, for some of you, you might have lots of graphics design experience and can whip them up a banner ad easily. But others are not quite this advanced yet and will need a little help. This area offers several 'banner blanks'. A banner blank is an image in the standard banner image size that is currently waiting for a business' name and slogan to be added to it. These images will fit properly into either the Top or Bottom banner rotators and any other ad zones you might create with the height and width of our banner blanks provided by default.
In this area of the Administrator's Control Panel, clicking this icon will allow you to add new banner blanks, in addition to the ones offered with the directory software. Your Users can login to their User Control Panel and use the Banner Creator to add their Business Name and Slogan to a banner blank of their choice! Neat-o!
Clicking the Banner Creator icon will show a list of banner blanks currently offered. Below this list of images, you can easily upload new images you have either created on your own, or you have found elsewhere. Our Members Area is a good source for finding banner blank resources online.
To upload an image, you will need to have the image saved on your computer. You will use the Browse button shown to the left to search your computer's hard-drive for the image you wish to upload. Once you have found it, click on the file name to select it. Next click the Upload Banner Image button shown to the left.
The file image name should end in .gif, .jpg, or .png. Any other files may be invalid and could cause an error message. Also, files sizes should not exceed 60KB. Even this limit is very high! If you see a need for this number to be increased, please contact use via the Support Desk and we may be able assist you. Remember the larger the file sizes you allow, the more bandwidth your sites will consume by visitors. Keeping this number to a reasonable low will allow for faster page loading and happier visitors.
Managing and Adding Ad Zones
Ad zones are an addition to your banner rotators. They are mini ad rotators that you can create and use by adding a bit of HTML code to any HTML page or block you create on your site.
Note: Ad zones can be created or removed at will, however, your top and bottom banner rotator spots cannot be deleted. If you offer banner ads, the top and bottom banner rotators will be permanently available to your users.
To create a new ad zone, click the Ad Zones icon in your Banners menu. The first time you visit this area you will see a message stating
'You currently have no ad zones.'
You will need to click the ' Create new ad zone' link below this message to continue.
You will need to complete the short form shown above to set up a new Ad Zones. First, create a Title for your Ad Zone. This should be short description to better help your user understand where the ad would be displayed. An example would be "Homepage Top Right Block". The description field can further specify in detail where the ad zone can be found on your site.
Next specify the image width and height in pixels. This will tell your user what size images are allowed to be added to this area. No images larger or smaller than this specification should be uploaded. You may make these sizes anything you want. Please keep in mind, it is our recommendation that all content placed in a block should not exceed 150 pixels in width to better accommodate your users with smaller browser resolutions. Save your larger Ad Zones for prominent locations within the center panels of your pages (Page Editor).
Finally, set the 'Allow new banners' option to either Yes or No and set your price per month to be charged for the ad. Setting this to NO will not allow this option to display to users when they visit the Banners area to sign up for Banners advertising. This would be a practical setting if you are not yet ready to allow images to be placed in this zone, or if you already have the number of images you wish to allow in this zone. Setting this to YES will allow this option to display to users when they visit the Banners area to sign up for Banners advertising. This would mean you are accepting new advertisers for this particular zone.
When finished, click the "Create Zone" button to continue. You will now be returned to the Settings area of your Banners Plugin.
You will now see your completed Ad Zone. To place the Ad Zone into any page or block, you will need to copy the Ad Code from the area shown circled in the image above. Be certain that you highlight and copy the entire code and not only part of it. A completed code would look much like the following:
If you do not copy all the code, your ad zone will not work in the area you place it.
Once you have the entire code copied, exit the Banners area of your Admin Control Panel and click the Page Editor icon (if you wish to place this ad zone on a page section of your site) or the Blocks icon (if you wish to place the ad zone in a block) in your Control Panel. Open the page or block in the editor and paste this code into the HTML source of the editor. To change the editor to its HTML view, click the View?edit Source icon (shown circled in the below image).
This will then open the HTML Source Editor in a new popup window. Paste your Ad Zone code into this window.
Then click 'ok' at the bottom of this box to continue. Your editor window will appear blank, but this is normal. Save the block or page by clicking the Save Block or Update Page button respectively at the bottom of the editor page.
Your new Ad Zone is now ready to accept its first ad. We do not recommend you leave it empty. We suggest you ad an image to the Zone to better help your users understand that this particular section of your site is available for them to advertise. An image that says something like "Click here to place your ad in this spot" might be a good choice. If you choose to do this, be sure to link it to a page that explains how they can place their ad on your site.
A completed Ad Zone will rotate images according to your 'Timed rotation' setting in the Banners->Settings area of your Admin Control Panel. These settings are better explained here:
Adding a Adding a banner to your rotators OR to an Ad Zone
Users can add banners to your rotator for themselves thru the User Control Panel. But as an administrator, you can also add banners to your rotator easily.
You will need to click the Banners icon, shown circled to the left. Please note, this is in the TOP section of your Control Panel, not the lower Admin section.
Clicking this link shows you, or your user (who ever is logged in) what banners they currently have displaying in the rotators.
It displays the Loc, which tells you in which area the banner displays (top of the page, and bottom of the page, respectively). The Url is where a visitor is brought if the ad is clicked. Impressions tells how many times the banner ad has been displayed. Clicks is how many times a visitor has clicked the banner ad, and Expiry is when the banner will be deleted from your site.
To place a new banner, you need to start by clicking the tabbed text link which says "Add a Banner:
To place a new Top Banner, you would click the 'Purchase top banners credits'. And to place a new Bottom Banner, you would click the 'Purchase bottom banners credits' and so on for each of the banner/ad zone options. You will need to follow the instructions on the next screen in order to complete your purchase and submit payment in advance for the banner ads. Admin accounts come with banner credits already stocked into the user account so you can add your banners without payments being made.
Next return to the Add a Banner screen and you can now select to order your banners and credits will have been applied dependent upon how many advertising months you have purchased.
Once you have clicked the choice for either adding a top or bottom banner, you will see a form similar to the one on the left.
The Banner Type option allows you to select between uploading a banner from your computer to the server and adding a 'click to' or Destination Url. This is the easy way to add banners if you have little or no HTML experience. To use this option you can simply leave the option 'Use banner image and URL' checked as shown below and to the left.
Use banner image and URL
Use custom HTML (for Flash ads or remotely-hosted banners)
You will use the Browse button shown to the left to search your computer's hard-drive for the image you wish to upload for the Banner Image.
However, our banner system allows for User's to use more advanced options as well such as affiliate codes (Linkshare, Commission Junction, etc) and Flash code. To use these types of banners, you need to toggle the option above to read 'Use custom HTML (for Flash ads or remotely-hosted banners)'.
Once you have changed the option, you will see an image that looks much like the one to the right.
Here you can insert any HTML or flash code needed into the Banner HTML fields.
NOTE: If you choose this option, please understand your HTML code and flash banners must now contain the 'click to' or Destination Url and must also be coded to open in a new window if so desired. Flash banners must have both of these functions built into the flash file itself.
And finally, you select how long you wish the banner to display.
Note: Remember, each banner credit is good for 1 month.Example: You have 15 banners, each of which is valid for 1 month. If you wish to run a banner for several months, you can combine banner credits and use the drop down bar to select 15 months now. Or, you could either create 15 individual banners for 1 month each!
When finished making your selection, click the Create Banner button.
Now the banner is being held for activation, unless you selected the option to automatically approve images. If not, you will need to login to the Administrator's Banner management and activate this banner.
How to use the Banner Creator as a User
After clicking the Banner Creator link, in the User's Banner Area (remember, this is in the User Banner area in the TOP section of the control panel), you can choose a blank banner template but clicking the circle below the Choose option to the right of the banner image. This will be the foundation upon which your new banner will be built. Once you have selected your image, click the Continue button at the bottom of this page.
Enter the name of your company and your slogan (or other information). Next, choose a font and color for the name and slogan.
Next, decide where on the banner you would like the name and slogan to appear. The numbers in the 'Left' and 'Top' fields determine where the top-left corner of the text will appear on the banner. (Increase the 'Left' value to move the text to the right; increase the 'Top' value to move the text down.) You can see how we toggled the numbers around to create the image pictured here. It is just a few minutes of trial and error, but the end result is fantastic!
To preview your changes, click 'Update Preview'. When you're satisfied with the result, click 'Accept Banner' to download your completed banner. This image must be saved to your computer before you can use it in the Banner Rotator.